Permit FAQs


Frequently Asked Questions

What are your office hours?

Central San is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The permit counter is open during lunchtime hours. 

How do I locate my lateral?

Your home may have one of the following: A cleanout just outside of the building or just behind the sidewalk on your property which may be marked with the letter “S” or word “SEWER” on the cover; or there may be an “S” stamped on the curb in front of your property (we have observed that the “S” does not always accurately mark the lateral location.) Some older homes may not have any cleanouts or markings to help locate your lateral. Please call (925) 229-7371 or send an email to and we may be able to provide an approximate location.

Who is responsible for my sewer lateral from the sidewalk into the street?

Each property owner is responsible for the entire sewer from the house to where it connects to Central San’s main sewer line. This includes both the sewer on private property and the lateral located beneath the sidewalk and street.

Is a sewer overflow prevention device (OPD) required to be installed? 

Central San does require a sewer OPD to be installed in every home or property. Central San does not supply OPDs, but they can be purchased at plumbing supply stores and some national home improvement stores. 

I’m repairing/replacing the sewer on my property.  Why do I need to obtain a sewer permit?

Central San has permit authority and inspection jurisdiction for building sewer repairs within our service area.  While the sanitary sewer is the property owner’s responsibility, any repair or replacement has to comply with Central San’s Specifications.  This is to ensure that Central San’s sanitary sewer system integrity is not breached or compromised.  Poorly constructed sanitary sewers may cause sewer backups and overflows that cause property damage and pose a health risk.

where can I find a qualified plumber/contractor?

A list of plumbing contractors that are currently registered with Central San is available at our Permit Counter or by clicking on the current contractor list.  You can choose your own by checking with the local Better Business Bureau, on-line reviews, or phone book.  If the contractor you choose is not registered with us, they will be required to do so prior to pulling a permit.  Central San does recommend that you get a price quote from at least three different licensed and bonded plumbers or contractors.

What pipe material can I use to replace my broken sewer lateral? 

The following pipe materials may be used to replace your old lateral:  PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) SDR 26 or C900, ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene), Cast Iron, Ductile Iron or HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) for pipebursting.

How quickly can I schedule an inspection?

Please notify Central San’s inspection group at least 24 hours prior to the start of work on your permit. Central San’s inspectors can be reached by calling (925) 229-7373.  The inspector will contact you if necessary to confirm the approximate time.

Can I get an over-the-counter review of my plans?

We may be able to provide an over-the-counter review of your plans if you are not constructing any sanitary sewer pipe outside of the building and the project does not conflict with an existing public sewer main.  If your project is for a commercial tenant improvement, we may be able to provide an over-the-counter review, but it is best to plan for a full commercial plan review which typically takes 10-15 business days.  

What is a capacity fee and why do I need to pay it?

All new houses or buildings that connect to Central San’s sewer system are required to pay a capacity fee. The capacity fee is a one time fee intended to cover the infrastructure cost of linking more potential volume to the sewer system — in other words, paying the debt service for underground pipes and the wastewater treatment plant that have already been built.

What is a sewer service charge?

A Sewer Service Charge is the annual fee that encompasses the cost for Central San to collect, transport, treat and recycle or dispose of wastewater from each property  that is connected to our system.  It is a fee, not a tax, because it is based upon your use of the sewage system and not the value of your property. 

How do I put my sewer bill in my name?

You do not need to take any action to put your sewer bill in your name. Central San’s sewer service charge is a line item on your annual property tax bill, and you will not receive a separate bill from Central San. The tax bill with our fees included is sent to the registered owner of the property.

How do I start or stop SEWER service?

Service is never turned on or off. The lateral to the property is connected to our sewer system and does not require a phone call to Central San to start or stop service. If you have a septic tank on the property that is in use to collect wastewater, you are NOT connected to the sanitary sewer system. If you wish to abandon the septic tank and connect to our system, contact Central San regarding requirements and fees.